Dhe British government plans in the coming days to make a Covid vaccination compulsory for employees in care. A transition period of 16 weeks is planned. Anyone who has not been vaccinated by then faces termination. Around 1.5 million employees work in nursing care in the country. An extension of these new rules to all employees of the national health service NHS with patient contact is also being examined, reports several British media unanimously. The affected group is comparably large.
The discussion about compulsory vaccination for a number of professional groups has been going on in Great Britain, as in many other countries, for months. “No jab, no job” is the catchy name of the model, “no prick, no work”. A number of employers have already rushed to the island.
Among other things, the private nursing home operators Barchester Healthcare, Care UK and Advinia Healthcare have made immunization mandatory for their staff. Exceptions apply to pregnant women. Barchester boss Pete Calveley pointed out that many of the elderly nursing home residents are not fully protected because of a weaker immune system, even after the second vaccination. More than 40,000 people in nursing homes have died as a result of Covid disease.
“Immediately” is the official announcement of the government to decide whether vaccination is required, confirmed Minister of Commerce Liz Truss on Wednesday the BBC. “We have to make sure to find the right balance, but I am sure that the population appreciates that we give the protection of human life absolute priority.” According to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the move is by no means uncharted territory. A hepatitis vaccination is already mandatory for a number of specialized doctors.
The trigger for the compulsion to vaccine is a reluctance to vaccinate in the nursing staff. By the first week of June, 84 percent of the nurses had received a first vaccination and 69 percent had received full protection. However, there are considerable regional differences: in 18 districts, over 25 percent have no protection whatsoever. Vaccination readiness is particularly low in some parts of London.
The UK government has once again accelerated its successful vaccination campaign given the rapid spread of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India. 63 percent of the population received a vaccination, 45 percent complete protection. By the end of the week, everyone over the age of 18 should be admitted to the vaccination.
Also certain duties in Germany
Associations and companies, however, express considerable reservations about compulsory vaccination for professional groups. “We’re worried that this could deter more people from taking up care, and it’s going to be difficult,” Mike Padgham, head of the Independent Care Group, told the BBC. He also believes that the vaccination of all employees is crucial.
The right way is not compulsion, but persuasion. Associations within the NHS were also skeptical. They fear confrontation with employees instead of the chance to dispel their concerns. And in the next step also legal disputes
Certain vaccination requirements in the health sector are not unusual in Germany either. The measles protection law came into effect in March 2020, according to which all employees of daycare centers, schools and medical facilities born after 1970 must show a vaccination or their immunity. In the future, compulsory Covid vaccination in clinics and homes is conceivable, says lawyer for labor and commercial law Markus Mingers.
As long as this obligation does not apply, companies should not require or urge their employees to get vaccinated. The expert clarifies that possible clauses in contracts, as now in isolated cases in the USA or Great Britain, are invalid in this country.
The German associations and trade unions in the health sector are more cautious about the compulsory vaccination – probably also aware of the political explosive power that the topic currently still harbors. For the Federal Association of Private Providers of Social Services (BPA), for example, compulsory vaccinations are not yet an issue, at least officially.
Wiener Klinik creates facts
“Our members do a lot of persuading that employees get vaccinated. We explain again and again that every vaccinated person lowers the risk in the facilities and protects life, ”said BPA President Bernd Meurer last week when asked by WELT.
Nevertheless, the head of the association makes it clear: “The vaccination remains voluntary, employers cannot force anyone – even if we want everyone to be vaccinated.” such a spokeswoman.
Even the German Professional Association for Nursing Professions (DBfK) does not want to speak out in favor of compulsory vaccination at the moment. The reason is: “We still have a shortage of vaccine for the whole population and we also lack the data on the vaccination rates among health care workers.”
The head of the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), Jens Baas, on the other hand, had clearly spoken out against a general compulsory vaccination: “A general compulsory vaccination should only be the last resort. I think we can do it without it, ”said Baas in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG last week.
But how long vaccination will remain optional in the health sector in this country is still open. Facts are already being created in neighboring Austria: The Vienna Barmherzige Brothers Hospital is one of the first employers to introduce compulsory corona vaccination. From now on, all new employees must be able to show a vaccination – or they must have it done when they start work.
There are also plans to expand to all of the seven so-called “religious hospitals” in the Austrian capital. The clinics are not profit-oriented and are part of the public supply mandate. About 5000 people are employed there.
“As hospitals, we have a particularly high responsibility towards our patients and employees, and we want to reduce the risk of infection to zero as far as possible,” commented a spokesman on the move to the daily newspaper “heute”.
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